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Firefox's memory usage


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#1
dvm5

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So, last time my computer started running slow it ended up me needing a new hard drive [basically cause the laptop was dropped a couple of times :tazz: ].

This time however, I'm sure it's a software problem, and have even been able to narrow it down to Firefox as the cause.

so I did some research [aka googled it] and found out that this is a rather common problem with firefox users. Many of us who simply like leaving firefox open all the time have discovered that Firefox will simply eat up all the memory it can get over time.

As expected, when you open a page it will claim the nessacery memory to do what you have asked for it, and opening more tabs will consequently cause a jump in memory usage to display more pages. However upon closing these tabs, it doesn't seem to free up all of the memory it has initially claimed. One can try this out by just watching the memory usage in task manager while browsing. After a few days without closing firefox and some heavy traffic back and forth, I ended up with 3 pages open, and the total claiming 370,000 k just to run one download and read some comics!

So I have to ask, is there any known ways to rectify this problem short of just periodically restarting firefox?

I have also read that it tends to jump in memory usage by without any change in the pages viewed, though I have not seen this myself.

Let me know if my problem is plagueing you too, and if you've found a creative solution. Thanks in advance

-Dave
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#2
makai

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After a few days without closing firefox

That's a bit long not to close your browser! Any reason for this??

Firefox is a stand-alone program, so it has to use memory the way it does. All the memory FF uses is actually not that bad. You have to consider that IE is integrated into windows. This means that components to launch/use IE are already running and using allocated memory. In other words, the memory used by IE is incorrectly reported because the other processes it uses within windows is not counted... even though it's using them.

True, FF seems to use a lot of memory, but this is actually a "miscommunicated" fact and is documented heavily on FF forums.

You really need to shutdown/restart FF if your memory can't handle running it for days on end.

Edited by makai, 13 August 2005 - 02:06 PM.

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#3
starjax

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thats been an issue with firefox, netscape, mozilla since the begining of time. shutdown firefox if your not using it. reboot your pc once in a while.
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#4
dvm5

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No particular reason to keep in running, just that I don't get in the habit of closing everything down when I'm ready for sleep. You know, I'm reading an article or have some tutorial open for autoCAD or something of that sort, I just don't bother bookmarking or saving it or anything, I'll leave it open.

Shutting it down or closing the browser is what I've been doing, but I was wondering if someone could tell me why it just eats up more memory over time without returning it back to the system. It just seems almost alien to assume a program will use so much memory for one page that normally takes 30,000.

thanks,
Dave
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#5
makai

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As I stated, FF is stand alone. To display and write this reply, FF is using 22,000K, and to me that isn't a pain. But later, it will probably rise. I never stay on so long that my computer has problems dealing with it though. Just the facts of life with FF. :tazz:
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#6
starjax

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thats pretty normal there. depends on what and how many extensions and plugins you have.
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#7
Scooped

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Well, 22,000K really isnt that much by todays standards. But if you do have a problem with that, uninstall all themes and extensions, and use something like FreeRamXP.

Firefox in linux on the other hand is a bit more pesky. After exiting firefox, here is what it left over:

destruction@hack-shack:~$ ps ax
15113 ? S 0:00 /bin/sh /usr/share/firefox/firefox
15124 ? S 0:00 /bin/sh /usr/share/firefox/run-mozilla.sh /usr/share/firefox/fi
15129 ? S 0:10 /usr/share/firefox/firefox-bin
15130 ? S 0:00 /usr/share/firefox/firefox-bin
15131 ? S 0:00 /usr/share/firefox/firefox-bin
15135 ? S 0:00 /usr/share/firefox/firefox-bin

Not too cool.

Edited by Scooped, 14 August 2005 - 01:44 AM.

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#8
makai

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Hey guys... you need to read the thread. I'm not the one with the problem! :tazz:
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#9
warriorscot

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Even at 30000 i wouldnt consider that a problem but i have plenty of ram, most programs will eat up ram, some programs more than others, but unless they are designed specificaly for extended periods of use you should turn them off. Also i dont have your problem at all if i close the tabs the memory usage goes down as expected.
I am also a firm beleiver that you should turn off you entire computer when you got to sleep, for various reasons that include the longer life of compnents and the biggy: its a huge fire risk.
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#10
dvm5

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I'm not talking about the normal 30,000 but ten times that. It only becomes a problem after several days. And as stated, I think I've just gotta start shutting down once in awhile :tazz:
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#11
warriorscot

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Its not designed for such long periods of operation most software isnt, you should turn off your pc whenever its not going to be in use for more than half an hour.
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#12
Scooped

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Hey guys... you need to read the thread.  I'm not the one with the problem!  ;)

View Post


Ehh I missed where he said 30,000K. :tazz:

Unless you're running a server, I don't know why people don't shutdown, atleast over night. Seeing people brag about their uptime, and it just makes me laugh.

Edited by Scooped, 14 August 2005 - 01:35 PM.

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#13
EMCguy

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Other programs routinely fail to release memory in windows systems, So it is one of many reasons you have shut it down regularly. Its not an appliance like your refrigerator which can run for years without shutdowns. Gates & compnay have designed these things with all the reliability of toys for hobbyists. :)

So is anyone here going to hook up their computer to run their thermostat, alarm system, room lighting? I'm not rushing out to do it. :tazz:

Best regards,

EMCguy
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#14
UV_Power

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Seeing people brag about their uptime, and it just makes me laugh.

I have NEVER seen anyone brag about this. If I did, I would be laughing too :tazz:

Seriously, it is not very beneficial to keep your computer on overnight for a number of reasons:

1) The forementioned risk of overheating and fire.

2) Virus/Hacker threats. No security system is perfect. Unless you are downloading a HUGE file, you should at least unplug the internet if you HAVE to leave your computer on.

3) Lifespan. Why use your parts if you gain nothing from it? It's like leaving your car running in your garage before you go to sleep.

4) Save money, if that matters to you. It may not seem like much, but it adds up to leave your comp running all the time.


My programming teacher always told us to avoid memory leaks at all costs. If you allocate memory, make sure somewhere down the line you release it. He told us that the early OS and programs came with a "security advisory" to reboot your computer at least once a week. The fact is the programmers were too lazy to find their memory leaks and the computer was slowly eating up memory. Security advisory? HA!

anyways, i'm rambling now.... :)
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#15
starjax

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rambling...yes you are... lol. Shutting down your pc everynight is more harmfull than leaving it on. The shutdown and startup process is like a car. overtime it wheres stuff down. Does one need to shut down and reboot occasionally.... yes. however the issue isn't leaving the pc on, its leaving firefox running for days on end without shutting the program down.
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